Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday – Share

Joining the Five Minute Friday crew once again over at Heading Home.  I love the simplicity of this writing “assignment” each week!  And I love the supportive group of writers who participate!  So, here’s to Five Minute Friday!

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The prompt this week is:  “Sharing”

Sharing has a lot of different meanings.  There is the traditional notion of giving to others some of what you have, but there is also the idea of “show and tell” or sharing of information.  I think both are important.  We have a tendency to think of sharing as either based in generosity (giving with no expectation of receiving back) or in reciprocal benefits (expecting of receiving something equal or better in return).  But, in reality, we often share things not out of an expectation of receiving something back from the other person but because of the feeling we get when we give.  I believe that, too, is a gift.  But, instead of being a gift from the person to whom we are giving something, it is a gift given us at birth.  It is a gift from our Creator that has made gift-giving innate in us.  Some may ignore it or even resist it, but it is there.  We take joy from very early ages in giving to others and seeing their gratitude or their joy.  And as long as we are not discouraged by others who use our gifts against us or uses us for our gifts, we will continue to be givers who take joy in that giving.  You can see it all around us in the incredible gifts that humans give each other.  I see it, each and every day, in my daughter.  Someone gave us a gift without even knowing us.  A gift of a heart.  And I hope that they can take some comfort in knowing that they gave a gift.  It is who we were made to be – givers of gifts who take joy and comfort in that giving.  So thankful.  And looking for ways to give.

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Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday -News

I am once again joining up with Five Minute Friday over at Kate Montaug’s blog.  They have some great deals and even a giveaway this week, so be sure to check it out and join us if you so desire!

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This week’s prompt is “News” – so, here goes:

News – it is a multi-meaning term.  There is the daily news that shows up in the headlines of newspapers and the evening news.  Then, there is our own “news” that includes life changes and such.  I often enjoy reflecting on the daily news, but it is also depressing at times.  I think that sometimes my own news is the same way.  I enjoy reflecting on it and trying to make improvements, but other times, my news is more depressing than anything else.  Right now, I’m feeling pretty good about the reflections on my own life.  Nothing is perfect, but then it never is.  But, things are moving along relatively nicely.  I’ve been talking to a lot of people about my DD’s pending pacemaker placement and they all seem like they are shocked I am not more worried or upset.  It makes me wonder if I’m not reflecting enough.  If I’m burying things.  But, really, I think that I’ve heard so much WORSE news at points that this news seems relatively positive in comparison.

I also think that I’ve come to realize that I can deal with things that come flying my way.  And that confidence is based on past experiences.  It is built on trust in God, trust in myself as being capable and trust in others who are responsible for things like my daughter’s medical well-being.  Probably in that order…

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What about you?  What do you think of when you hear the word “news”?

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday – Morning

I am joining Five Minute Friday over at Heading Home and oh, how I’ve missed you.  I’ve missed writing, but more than that, I’ve missed reading!  This week, I discovered that Kaitlyn Bouchillon’s new books is out and there is a fun contest to celebrate!  I am looking forward to reading the posts from this week as well.  It is good to be back!

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This week’s prompt is an interesting one:  Morning.  So, here goes:

Morning to me is a time of peace, but also anxiety.

I often wake up around 4:30 a.m. for no real good reason and can’t go back to sleep.  I will usually attempt to go back to sleep and sometimes I can, but other times, by 5:15 a.m. or so, if I am not back asleep, I get up.  My house is peaceful in the morning.  The dog stays in bed.  My DD and DH are in bed.  Even the cat isn’t very active.  I can make a pot of coffee and enjoy the still.  Or, I can turn on the news and actually watch it without interruption.  Or, I can do some house chores at a leisurely pace while coffee brews and no one else is making a mess to counteract the chore I’m completing.  But, sometimes, my inner environment is not so peaceful.

Mornings are also a time for realizing all the things I have not done that should have been done the day before.  And although the morning is a good time for getting things done, I start off the day under a cloud of anxiety and deadlines.  Those mornings are still quiet on the outside and I can often accomplish what needs to be accomplished, but I often am already feeling somewhat anxious and tired by 7 or 8 a.m.  I much more like the peaceful, slow and simple mornings.

For that reason, I am trying to get ahead on things that need to be done. Quiet and still and peaceful are so much better than frantic and stressful!

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday – Time

I am posting this a little early because I will be traveling tomorrow and I don’t want to miss the Five Minute Friday this week.  This week’s prompt is time…join the party if it inspires you!

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Time is my ever-present adversary it seems.  This week has been relatively quiet for me.  I’m off from teaching.  I didn’t have any workshops to attend.  I was home, by myself, most mornings.  But, I still feel like I didn’t have enough “time” to get things done.  I think that I’m constantly blaming time, when really is the “things” that are the problem!  It isn’t that I don’t have enough time.  It is that I have too many “things”.

So, that is why part of my mission this year of “Myself” is to simplify.  I want to give “myself” more time and those things less time.  I want to give my family more time and those things less time.  And I want to be better at focusing on one “thing” at a time.

Time is such a strange thing.  Our perception of it is drastically different depending on what we are doing.  I often tell my students that impromptu speaking is the perfect microcosm of how time shifts depending on perception.  When preparing for an impromptu speech for three minutes, the time seems to fly by.  We are wanting more time.  But, when we stand up to speak, those three minutes stretch out before us like a road to the moon.  They go by so slowly.  We can’t seem to fill those minutes despite our best intentions.  There is three minutes of preparation and three minutes to speak, but those two three minutes are dramatically different.

My hope is to create a world where time is a gift that I am able to truly relish.

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday – First

I’m joining Five Minute Friday as it returns for the 2016 year.  And accordingly this week’s prompt is “First”.

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Life is full of firsts, but the one thing we often don’t put first is ourselves.  At least most of us do not.  I am guilty of not putting myself first and it has caused me to become somewhat bitter.  So, this year, I’ve adopted my One Word as “myself”.

I realize that a lot of the reason I don’t prioritize myself is because I never had a real model for that.  My mom never put herself first.  She was a wonderful mom, but I never really knew her as “herself”.  I never really knew what she loved and didn’t love or what she was really passionate about.  She was always there for us as children, or my dad or even others – she was a woman full of compassion and caring and giving, but I felt like she got lost in all that giving and didn’t get nearly enough of what she needed in life because of it.  I want to model my mom in a lot of ways.  I want to be compassionate.  I want to be caring.  I want to be giving.  But, I don’t want to lose myself in the mix, as I feel like was starting to happen over the last six years.  So, I’m trying to readjust.

But, it is difficult.  This putting ourselves first thing is a threat in many ways.  What if we come off as narcissistic or selfish or ungiving?  I don’t see that as being a REAL threat, but sometimes those constructed threats are just as bad or worse.  But, I’m taking the plunge.  I’m focusing on me and what I want and need.  I’m trying to figure out who I really want to be and what I’m really passionate about and then figuring out how to make more of that in my life.  But, it isn’t easy.  And sometimes it feels a little exhausting.  Maybe even a little silly.

Putting ourselves first is important to our health, our well-being and our general happiness.  So, it is worth the trouble and effort and (unwarranted) guilt.  But, I have to keep repeating that as I take this challenge this year.

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday – Choose Your Own Word!

This week’s Five Minute Friday is a little different.  We’ve been given the charge to choose our own word as a prompt!  It is tough.  With so many words to choose from, how do I choose just one. single. word?!?  But, I’ve been given a charge and I will fulfill my duty!

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The word I’m choosing is:  MYSELF

I have had a bit of a rough day.  I was tired after yesterday’s busy, busy day (field trip in the morning with my DD’s class, baking cookies for cookie swap after that, then a final exam, then the crazy chaotic cleaning for the cookie swap, then the cookie swap).  I drank a bit of wine, which I enjoy, but often feel not-so-great the next day (even though I don’t drink much – only one glass last night).  This morning I went to my DD’s class again, watched a couple of little plays they have been working on, ran to the store to pick up needed supplies for crafts, came back and helped out a bit, ran home to let the dog in (it was raining) and go buy teachers’ gifts (why I had not already done that I don’t know).  My DD had a bit of a breakdown during the book exchange game because she ended up with a book she didn’t want and the girl next to her got a book she REALLY wanted.  She started crying.  It was embarrassing for me because I feel like she is suffering from a bit of entitlement.  Maybe even more than a bit.  Then I found out that the VTech video camera we got for her this summer had been chewed up by the dog and taken outside, which she knew and didn’t tell anyone.  At that point, I had a breakdown.  It was a $60 camera that she hadn’t taken care of and she just didn’t seem to really care at all.

So, how does this all tie into “myself”?  Well, that’s an excellent question.  But, I think I’ve realized today that I do not consider this concept of “myself” when planning and evaluating my life.  My DD is very good at considering her “myself” right now (6 is a pretty self-centered age it turns out).  My DH is also very good at considering his “myself” when decision-making.  I am not so good at it.  As of late, I am often not even sure what myself would want, so how can I give it what it wants or make decisions to benefit it?  I am so outwardly focused.  I want to make others happy and secure and well-adjusted.  But, I don’t worry about those things for myself enough.

——-that’s time, but I would like to continue a bit…

So, I’m thinking of changing my word of the year I had established earlier.  I’m thinking of changing it to MYSELF.  I haven’t considered myself first in many instances in the last decade or so.  And I’m ready to figure out who MYSELF is and how to do things that make MYSELF happier and more well-adjusted.  I feel like I have to do some work figuring out who I am.  Then, I need to do some work making who I am better and happier and more well-adjusted.

I will need some help from those around me.  I will have to ask for and sometimes I may even have to DEMAND that help from them.  As of right now, I often suffer in silence.  And I’m tired of suffering.

I am ready to put my oxygen mask on and take care of myself in 2016.  I am hoping…no, I KNOW that it will make be a better mother and wife, even if it might be a slight shock to the system for my family.  It isn’t that I plan on NOT taking care of my family – that is part of who I am and hopefully I will get even better at it.  But, it does mean, I will be asking for more help, instituting more systems that work for me and giving myself the same gifts of time, money and fulfillment of needs that I give them.

 

 

Five Minute Friday, Thankfulness Challenge, Uncategorized

Five Minute Friday – Table – Thankful Challenge Day 27

I am once again joining Five Minute Friday this week.

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Table.  It is a simple furniture item that most of us have in our homes.  But it is also a symbol of togetherness.  I got my parent’s dining room table when my mom passed away this summer.  It is funny how it is the same table, but feels totally different in our house.  We never ate many meals at the table at my parent’s house.  Mostly, we sat on the couch or chairs in the living room.  Especially when it became difficult for my dad to get around.  But even before that.  The table was for special occasions.  But, it was also there to do paperwork.  For my DD to do her art projects when she was visiting.  To hold the myriad of medications – for my dad and then my mom and for my DD when we were visiting.  It was also finished by my dad’s hands.  He did a lot of antique refinishing in his retirement and this table was one of those projects.

It is a bit too big for our space when I put the leaves in (which I did out of desperation to be able to put the extra chairs around the table and have them fit).  So, I will have to take the leaves out and move the extra chairs to the garage, to be pulled out on those special occasions when people are visiting.  But, I will be having family dinners at this table more regularly than we did at my parent’s.  I will be enjoying that table as a family, with meals.  And when I do, I will think of my dad working on it and my mom taking care of it.  I don’t have a ton of things from my parent’s house, but this is one that I will cherish and use with joy.  The family table.

I am thankful…for the table, but more so for the memories attached to it and the ones we will make at it.